Do you find yourself constantly using words in the wrong way. A lot of words are confusing because they sound the same, look the same, or mean the same thing, but when you try to find a quick reference, one is not always readily available. This is my attempt to provide you with a nice list of commonly misused and confusing words and their meanings. There are more than a few, so this will be two part post.
accept- verb meaning to receive
except – to leave something out
EX: Overcome with joy, I was willing to accept my father’s gift, but my mother reminded me that I had not seen him since I was three except when it was convenient for him.
advice – noun that meansan opinion that is given to someone about what to do in a specific situation
advise- verb meaning to recommend someone on a certain topic
EX: When my daughter’s condition did not improve, my doctor advised me not to give advice about subjects that I was not familiar with.
affect – verb that means to change
effect – noun that meansthe result of something
EX: The effect of my shopping spree affected my lifestyle for the rest of the month.
allusion – a reference to a person, idea, piece of writing, or event
illusion – believing something is a reality that is not
EX: There were so many allusions in the first chapter of To Kill A Mockingbird to historical events that I believed the illusion that I was actually reading a textbook.
a lot – a large quantity
alot – common misspelling of the above phrase
allot – to give out parts or shares
EX: A lot of prizes were allotted to the contestants.
already – (one word) means before a specific time
all ready – (two words) meaning entirely prepared
EX: Already my mother was poking her head in my bedroom to see if I was all ready to go.
among – three or more people or things
between – implies only two
EX: Sitting between two empty chairs at the party, I realized that I was among a room full of people that I didn’t really know.
assure – to give confidence to and remove doubt from a person
ensure – to make certain
insure – to guarantee against loss
EX: I assured my wife that the mechanic ensured that the brakes were replaced, but just in case something happened, we were insured.
complement – to fit or work well with something else
compliment – to praise someone
EX: After he complimented me on my makeup, I realized that we our personalities complemented each other.
emigrate – to leave one country to settle in another
immigrate – to enter and settle in a country where you were not born.
EX: Before immigrating to the United States, my brother emigrated from Nigeria.
e.g. – as an example
i.e. – it is or that is
EX: There is only one country (i.e. the United States) that I can experience such a variety of freedoms (e.g. religious, speech, educational, etc…).